I love Sangría, especially in the summer. It is the perfect complement to spicy food or Mediterranean dishes. It also goes great with everything that comes off the grill.

You can vary the red wine depending on the dish, using a lighter wine with seafood, a bit fruitier wine with poultry and a really robust red with beef and other strongly flavored dishes.

Adjust the sweetness as needed depending on your taste, the fruit and the wine used.

Make sure all of your ingredients are well chilled before starting as Sangría is best very cold. Serve with ice cubes made from wine to make sure the Sangría does not get diluted by melting ice.

Sangría is a wine punch that originated in Spain and was brought to the United States during the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Traditionally, the punch, which gets its name from the Spanish word sangre meaning blood, is made by infusing red wine with fruit.

It typically consists of a red wine, chopped or sliced fruit, a sweetener such as honey and a small amount of added brandy, triple sec or other spirits.

The ingredients in Sangría vary, particularly in the type of fruit used, the kind of spirits added, if any, and the presence or lack of carbonation.

White wine can be used instead of red, in which case the result is called Sangría Blanca. In some parts of southern Spain, Sangría is called zurra and is made with peaches or nectarines.

Crucial to a good Sangría is a good wine, although that doesn’t have to mean expensive. In most recipes for Sangría, the wine remains the dominant ingredient.

You can add orange or lemon juice and seltzer, Sprite or 7-Up with your choice of different fruits. If you like, spirits are sometimes added, but don’t forget the ice, and lots of it, for a fresh, fruity and delicious drink.

Although Sangría is consumed all year round, it is mostly made in the summer months when there is a great desire for quenching one’s thirst after having been out under the scorching Oklahoma sun.

It is also in summer when the best sweet, rich, refreshing fruits are grown: a very important ingredient for making a Sangría recipe.

Come to Edmond’s Farmers’ Market, find a local fruit stand or visit the closest grocery store and choose two or three fruits such as: sweet, white peaches or juicy pineapple (fresh or canned, either will do), oranges, lemons or limes, melons, kiwis, pears, cherries, grapes, strawberries or any other berry in season and apples to add to your Sangría.

For sweetener, you can use honey or simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled to dissolve), Caster sugar (a finely ground sugar) or black currant syrup for red Sangría and mango syrup for white, both made by Torani.

Sangría is often served in 1-liter pitchers or other containers large enough to hold a bottle of wine plus the added ingredients. A lid or other strainer for the container helps prevent the fruit and ice cubes from being served.

In informal social gatherings, Sangría may be served like punch from a punchbowl, and it is the perfect wine party punch.

For a classic red Sangría, a Pinot Noir is a good choice. For white Sangría, try a crisp, dry white wine like a Pinot Grigio. For a spritzy Sangría use a sparkling Spanish cava.

Some say the key to a great Sangría is to let it sit overnight, refrigerated, so the flavors blend together. If Sangría is made right before it’s served, the flavor of the fruit will be distinct from the flavor of the wine.

Steep the fruit in the wine for at least a few hours, if you can’t wait overnight, and a decent Sangría becomes a great one.

Consider the flavors already in the wine and try to complement them. Some fruits, like berries, tend to be better in red wines, while apples might taste better in white.

Like anything else, when entertaining, make things that taste good to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let Sangría be your summer sipper.

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